Awana gets ready for Duleep action

With 27 wickets in 6 matches,Parvinder Awana’s call up to the North Zone Duleep Trophy squad was almost a certainty,and a ten-wicket haul against Saurashtra on a flat wicket in Rajkot went a long way in establishing his credentials as a fast bowler.

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published:January 20, 2009 12:45 am

Happy with his first major assignment,Delhi pacer hopes to repeat his Rajkot heroics

With 27 wickets in 6 matches,Parvinder Awana’s call up to the North Zone Duleep Trophy squad was almost a certainty,and a ten-wicket haul against Saurashtra on a flat wicket in Rajkot went a long way in establishing his credentials as a fast bowler.

Awana will be heading back to the same venue again,and possibly playing the biggest match of his career till now,when North play their semi-final encounter from January 29 against the winner of Central and South Zone match.

As he gets through his fitness regime at the Ferozeshah Kotla,Awana reiterates he’s no longer afraid of bowling to the established names in the circuit or bending his back on featherbeds. And he promptly reverts back,rather expectedly,to the Rajkot game again,citing examples of the Delhi dressing room talk that centred purely on Shitshanu Kotak and Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of their crunch game.

“I remember there was lot of stress on getting the wicket of Kotak and Pujara and it was almost thrown up as a challenge for the bowlers. I dismissed both Shitanshu Kotak and Ravindra Jadeja twice in the match,and got Pujara in their second innings. Ten-wicket haul in that match is really special for me. Wickets like the one in Rajkot tests a bowler to the maximum. On a seaming wicket,we only have to pitch the ball in the right areas. But on flat pitches,you need to put effort in every delivery and I am that kind of a bowler,” Awana says before stating the obvious. “I am looking forward to play the Duleep game if selected.”

He feels that the Mumbai match was the tunraround this season. “The Mumbai match turned the season for me. From there on I was confident of my abilities,” he says.

Harolla Express,as he’s nicknamed,was quick to realise the need to keep up the consistency,especially with the likes of Ashish Nehra,Sumit Narhwal,Pradeep Sangwan all competing in the pace bracket. “I concentrated a lot on my fitness this year and the results speak for themselves. I am being able to get into a nice rhythm,he says adding “Badrinath (Delhi team’s physiotherapist) and the support staff played a huge role.

Pace vs line and length
Awana said last season he was only interested bowling quick but has grown wiser to realise the importance of bowling in the right areas. “Last season I got 12 wickets in 5 matches,but I was only concentrating on bowling fast. But now I know when to bowl full steam or hold myself back and concentrate on bowling good areas,” he added saying,“I have realised the important on bowling in the right areas.”

And,ironically for Awana,who first claimed fame by finishing as a finalist in a speedster contest,statistics do support his line-and-length theory.

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